Susquehanna River Transmission Line Crossing — Pennsylvania


Riggs Distler completed this difficult reconductoring project for a transmission line spanning the Susquehanna River. The 1.1-mile river crossing is supported by three lattice towers, one of which is installed in the middle of the river. The line also passes above an energized 69kv line, active railroad track, a parking lot, fishermen in the river, and an active dam. Our work on this project involved:

  • Reconductoring two spans between three lattice towers
  • Upgrading existing aluminum wire with new 3M ACCR wire
  • Replacing step bolts and reinforcing the tower in the middle of the river
  • Installing new insulators on all structures
  • Working next to an energized 230kv line, creating induced voltage
  • Helicopter and boat-assisted work on a high-tension line 180 feet above the ground/water surface
  • Coordination with railroad authorities regarding an active railroad on-site
  • Self-performing all E&S and environmental matting for land-based towers

Challenges Overcome

The project involved complex logistical challenges. Ensuring the safety of our staff and the public was a foremost concern, as the project area saw continuous active use by pedestrians, boaters, vehicles, and trains. Since the line passed above an active railroad, all construction had to be scheduled around trains passing through the project area, requiring careful coordination with the railroad company. Installing 1.1 miles of new transmission line over a major river is no easy feat, and our team developed ingenious solutions, utilizing equipment trucks, boats, and helicopters to get the job done.

Results Delivered

Replacing the line with ACCR will eliminate tension issues and sagging due to changes in the weather, making it far less likely to be damaged by the water below. Riggs Distler’s ability to work hand in hand with public and private entities allowed us to mitigate complicated schedule and safety concerns throughout the life of the project. Our work will help ensure a consistent and stable source of power for end users in this region of Pennsylvania well into the future. Riggs Distler received a NECA EXCELLENCE AWARD from the Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter in the field of Overhead Transmission in 2018.